P rior to the Pacific Railway Act of 1864 the majority of the nation's railroads were short and isolated. Isolated railroads did not have to worry about interchange with other railroads and often enjoyed standards set by their own engineering departments. With the definition of standard gauge and the coming of a transcontinental railroad, at a convention in May of 1867 attendees suggested the idea to form an association of men responsible for the cars of each railroad. This association called the "Master Car-Builders Association" was established on September 18th, 1867 at Altoona, Pennsylvania, with the goal of finding solutions to deal with the problems created by interchanging freight cars. In 1872 the association held its 5th annual convention in Richmond, Virginia. Here the nations Car-Builder's resolved that: "...a committee be appointed with power to publish an illustrated book, defining the proper terms or names of each and every part used in the construction of railway cars, and a description of the use of the same. This publication would be known as The Car-Builder's Dictionary.
Contained in each volume are dictionaries outlining the terms used in car construction, engravings of cars, hardware, fixtures and a healthy dose of period advertisements from suppliers.
1884 Carbuilders Dictionary - 1888 Printing Expanded Edition.Reference \ Master Car Builder's Dictionary